Tom Hardy will star in Kathryn Bigelow’s next dramatic feature, True American. The project is based on Anand Giridharadas’ book, True American: Murder & Mercy in Texas and examines Americans’ deteriorated attitude towards Muslims, following the 9/11 terrorist attack. It illustrates the negative impact of replying to violence with hatred, and the power of peace.
Based on a true story, Giridharadas’ book portrays Raisuddin Bhuiyan’s journey as a Bangladesh Air Force officer. His aspiration was to immigrate to America and pursue a career working in technology. At age 37, while temporarily working at his friend’s minimart in Dallas, his dreams were put on hold.
Just a few weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attack, a white supremacist, Mark Stroman shot him in the head, leaving Bhuiyan partially blind in one eye. In addition to nearly killing Bhuiyan, Stroman murdered two others this same day. The “American Terrorist,” who dubbed himself an “Arab Slayer,” Stroman was arrested and sentenced to die in Texas.
Unlike Stroman, Bhuiyan did not seek revenge. Instead, he campaigned to save the man who had shot him. Just before being executed, Stroman reacted to Bhuiyan’s forgiving attitude, “Hate is going on in this world and it has to stop.” He continued, “Hate causes a lifetime of pain.”
If anyone is capable of bringing this profound story to the big screen, it is probably Bigelow, the first woman to win the Best Director Award at the Oscars. After Zero Dark Thirty (2012), The Hurt Locker (2008), and Point Break (1991), she has proven herself qualified to conceptualize a plot which analyzes violence from a unique perspective.
Hardy also seems like the perfect actor to dramatize the lead in True American. On the heels of his glowing reviews for his performance in Locke, Hardy’s acting career is rapidly progressing. Other upcoming projects for him include Michael R. Roskam’s Drop, Daniel Espinosa’s Child 44, and Michael Gracey’s Rocketman, where he will portray Elton John.
Annapurna Pictures is on board to produce the film and we look forward to revealing more details as the production of True American continues to take off.